This application is acknowledged by the developer as being a departure from the Local Plan. Approval would make a mockery of all the hours put in both by residents and by the Council, so this Application must be rejected. Under the Localism Act, communities are more empowered to control development in their areas, and it behoves the Council to respect that.
Contrary to statements made in the Application, Planning Approval for all previous applications for Sladnor Park has lapsed.
Departure from the Local Plan and the agreed Neighbourhood Plan
- The proposed development does not meet the criteria for Sustainable Development listed in the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan with respect to location, public transport, healthcare, shopping, other community facilities, and the environment.
- The development is not consistent with the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan, not consistent with reducing need to travel by car, does not achieve a net gain in biodiversity, and exceeds the capacity of physical, social and environmental infrastructure in Maidencombe.
- The site is outside the Maidencombe Village Envelope (approved by residents and Torbay Council)and is in the Countryside Zone where such development is not permitted. Approval would set a precedent for development in all the undeveloped areas of Maidencombe, changing it from a village to a suburb. This would have similar effects going forward in Torbay as a whole, e.g.Cockington and Berry Head.
- The location is inappropriate for the proposed elderly residents. The topography is sloping and inhospitable. It is not within easy walking distance of hub facilities such as shops and Doctors surgeries. Would you walk or cycle to St Marychurch along the Teignmouth Road? Access to the limited public transport (hourly bus service at best, and only in daytime) is a steep half mile walk. Provision of a minibus will have adverse environmental impact, and we question how this would handle more than one wheelchair.
- It is unlikely that residents will give up their cars in the near future. There will be an increase of 150+ vehicles, plus staff and delivery traffic,entering theTeignmouth Road at a junction with poor visibility.
- Traffic impact will be even greater during the 3-4 year construction phase. Furthermore, the proposed access into Rock House Lane leads to an extremely hazardous turn into the Teignmouth Road for any northbound traffic. Similarly a left turn from Teignmouth Road southbound into Rock House Lane is almost impossible.
- There will be adverse impact on a range of legally protected wildlife species.
- There will be increased risk of flooding below the development, and the probable resultant rise of the level of the water table will impact on septic tanks throughout Maidencombe.
- 6 storey buildings are incompatible with the historic character, location and setting of Maidencombe, and inappropriate in terms of their visual impact. The agreed Planning Polices require that development respects the local character in terms of height, scale and bulk and reflects the identity of its surroundings.
Overall impact on Torbay
- The price per apartment necessary to cover the build costs is way above the affordability of Torbay residents, substantially above the £225K average house price in Torbay. Thus there will be an influx of population from more affluent areas of the country, rather than meeting the needs of Torbay residents.
- The increase in elderly population will potentially place a heavy future burden on the already overstretched provision of social services.
- Provision of GP services is already at breaking point, and this additional demand will exacerbate the situation.
- There will be additional stress placed on Torbay Hospital.
- There is already a shortage of care staff in Devon and Cornwall. This development will potentially draw staff from existing facilities, creating even more difficulties in Torbay.